Critical Museum Studies - Arts Management

Critical Museum Studies is a pre-professional interdisciplinary MA program under the aegis of ArtAnthropology, Arts Management, Classics, and Media Study. Students are required to take courses in three of the core programs, thereby ensuring an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Critical Museum Studies Arts Management Track operates with the conviction that the museum field needs managers that can inform the museum’s role in the 21st century to ensure their sustainability and invites students with backgrounds and interests in the arts, humanities, social sciences, management and law to join our small and selective cohort of students.

A majority of museum studies programs train future museum practitioners most centrally for curatorial, educational and programming tasks. This important focus, however, omits what UB’s Critical Museum Studies Arts Management Track considers the core of museum work and its challenges: Understanding and negotiating key relationships between the institution and its diverse audiences, collections and funding sources.

Ours are both hands-on questions of effective visitor engagement, meaningful use of technology and collections administration and public relations measures; and, perhaps even more crucially, the critical contextualization of museum administration. How are we to understand and interpret talk about the museum’s competing attention towards their collections and their audiences respectively? How are museums to tackle legal and ethical aspects of object restitution as well as their deep entanglement with market forces? What do we mean when we talk about using “technology” in the museum and what are the advantages and pitfalls of museum digitalization for visitors and collections management?

Our course of study balances critical approaches and nuts and bolts administrative knowledge and substantiates this academic training with a number of in-depth experiential learning opportunities:

Museum activity.


The MA consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours.  Our faculty will advise you in selecting coursework that will position you to accomplish your goals.  


  • Core Requirements (9 credits)
  • Electives (12 credits)
  • Independent Study (3 credits)
  • Internship (6 credits)
  • Thesis (6 credits)